Character Portrait – Rem

Cthulhu by dano_h

image credit: Cthulhu, by dano-h on DeviantArt

One of my many clerics was Noremus Toffli. Rem was a human cleric of Pelor tasked with finding a cure for a mind plague afflicting the people of Stormport. Little did he know when he joined the heroes that his quest would take him far from home, to the very stars themselves. Rem’s story is tightly coupled with that of my paladin of Helm, Terun.

Terun and the heroes of Silverhall had traveled to the Moonsea city of Stormport. There, they found a people under the influence of a band of insidious mind flayers. Through much tribulation, and a couple of misunderstandings, the party freed the city. Unfortunately, it became clear that this group of heroes had some deeply rooted failings, in that they were unwilling to do whatever it took to uphold the glory of Helm and Terun parted ways with them to seek out worthier companions.

In stepped Rem. A cleric of the temple of Pelor in Stormport, he saw that many in the city were still afflicted by a mysterious brain disease that had come upon them during the  Illithids’ reign. While his brothers and sisters remained to treat the sick as best their abilities could, Rem traveled in pursuit of the band of heroes. Catching up with them, he joined with them as they eventually found their way aboard an Illithid sky ship. 

The party traveled aboard the fell contraption to the mind flayers’ home world of Penumbra. There, the heroes faced off against many of the mind masters, their slave minions, and their elder brain master. Through great battles and at great cost, the heroes defeated the creatures. Carrying what remained of their wizard companion, the party were able to find their way back to Faerun.

Rem, having gained the cure for the brain disease, was last seen traveling east from Waterdeep towards home. Perhaps we have not seen the last of this young adventurer…

 

Character Portrait – Nignus

Scroll of Knowledge

Nignus was my dwarven cleric of Oghma. A traditional gold dwarf of Faerun from the Great Rift, he made his journey north where he joined the companions to explore the dark heart of Nightfang Spire. His goal was to seek tomes of wisdom and knowledge to add to the Temple of Oghma’s great library in the Rift. 

Sadly, the journey of Nignus was a short one. Not long after he entered the domain of the vampire Gulthias, the fell to a monstrosity of magic, a construct made of flesh. 

Character Portrait – Chojen

Warrior Monk

Alas, poor Chojen Morg. After Thelisn the bodak fell to the servants of Gulthias within the Heart of Nightfang Spire, I brought in Chojen. He was human, a former thief and rogue who had repented of his ways and taken up a life of service to the gods. Serving in a monastary near Daggerdale, the companions of Silverhall rescued Chojen when he and others had been taken by an evil cult.

To repay the debt, he offered his service to them. That service was sadly all to short. Soon after the companions re-entered Nightfang Spire, he fell victim to an undiscovered trap in the floor, sliding him down over a sharp blade and then flinging him out the side of the tower. Having no ranks in fly, he plummeted to his death at the base of the Spire. 

I was sad to lose Chojen, especially so shortly after losing Thelisn (twice). The character concept of a thief-monk multi-class was one that really appealed to me. I’m bummed I never got a chance to really explore what he was capable of. At some  point I would like to run a new character that’s similar in concept. We’ll see.

Character Portrait – Venjor, Cleric of Pelor

Venjor

Venjor Carix was a cleric of Pelor. I brought him in for a module that Andy ran a few years back. This was a bit after I had run the Speaker in Dreams module, set in the town of Brindinford. In the Wyrmfang Chronicles, I placed Brindinford in the region west of Cormyr, just the other side of the Stormhorns.

Venjor was a background NPC during the Speaker in Dreams (Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Module). He was a minor cleric in the temple of Pelor. At that time in the Wyrmfang Chronicles campaign world, the Black Talons had supplanted the Purple Dragons as the soldier force of Cormyr. The surviving Purple Dragons who would not covert and hadn’t already been imprisoned fled the land. Some fled east to Silverhall. Others fled west to Brindinford. 

Those who fled to Brindinford learned the Black Talons were mounting another force to come west. The goal was to take their city and recapture the escaped Dragons. Seeking help, emissaries were sent to neighboring lands to seek aid in defending against. Venjor travelled south to the city of Westmarch, where Andy’s module was based, hoping to find aid. Instead he found that Westmarch was facing troubles of it’s own. 

My memory is a bit hazy on Venjor’s fate. It was about 15 years ago now, but I believe he did survive to return to Brindinford, though I cannot say if he succeeded in bringing any aid with him. And we have not revisited that part of the world since. Perhaps someday we might return. But who can say?

Side note: Venjor was often mistyped as Vejnor. Also, the pronounciation is ‘Vey-nor’, not ‘Ven-ger’. 

D&December 2017 – W4D3 – Wizards

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wizard

Wizards have got to be my favorite class in Dungeons & Dragons. Being the smartest person in the party and using their gift to call forth the powers of the universe to alter reality itself is a fun-factor that’s hard to deny. All things being equal, I would probably rather play the wizard. That’s a bit odd considering I’ve only run two wizards in the Wyrmfang Chronicles, and one of them was a multi-class fighter/wizard. That was Storin, the first character I played in the Wyrmfang Chronicles. He met a most unpleasant end that I’ve mentioned previously

The second character I ran in the Wyrmfang Chronicles was my wizard Endeleban Losteast, or Delban for short. He was an Aes Saidarr from Cormyr tasked with tracking down a bard named Thomison for one reason or another. On finding Tomasin, Delban and his warrior escort Yoshi, were sucked into Ravenloft along with the bard. Adventuring in Soth’s castle in Ravenloft left Delban a changed wizard. He wandered off into NPC land after that. While Delban did make a return to PC status for City of the Spider Queen a couple years ago, not one of my other characters has been a wizard. 

I’m not sure what to attribute that to, except that I’m also one who doesn’t mind sharing the fun. So if someone else wants to be the arcanist, I’m willing to let them. Maybe I’ll have to call dibs on wizard right now for whatever we do next. But that’s a ways off into the future. We’ve still got a year or two to go in the deserts of Golarion before we think about what’s next.

I’m not sure what it is exactly that makes wizards so appealing to me. Certainly, they have the brains and they can blow stuff up from 400 yards away. I’ve also had great love for wizards in literature: Gandalf, Raistlin, Elminster, Merlin, Dr Strange, Harry Dresden. And don’t you dare lump Harry Potter in with those greats. Compared to the others, the Potter books are complete drivel and garbage. I’ve never been able to read an entire Potter book or watch one of the movies all the way through. I did sit through most of Fantastic Beasts, though it made me a bit nauseous. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah. Great wizards of literature inspired me. 🙂 But whatever the reason, wizards just seem to be the most fun to play. 

They do have their downsides. Keeping track of everything can be a big pain and they die pretty easily if dragged into melee. But when I can toss a fireball or lightning bolt down upon groups of enemies, it’s more than worth it.

D&December 2017 – W4D1 – Magic Weapons

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Sword Magic by Conor Burke
Sword Magic by Conor Burke – src: DeviantArt

Magic weapons have been a part of Dungeons & Dragons from the beginning. They are the prized possessions of virtually every character class. Even wizards love to get their hands on a magic dagger or staff to up the odds of a favorable outcome.

Throughout my years and many characters across D&D, Pathfinder and so forth, the quest to find a magic weapon is the first priority more often than not. There are just so many foes in game that are only able to be damaged by a magic weapon. So it becomes an obsession for most of us to find the biggest, baddest weapon that we can get our hands on. 

And we get frustrated if we get past level 2 or 3 and still don’t have a magic weapon. It’s even worse when you’re the last member of the party to find one that fits your character. It can be one of the most aggravating feelings of playing D&D at times.

Over the years we’ve had our share of magic weapons. Most are your generic run of the mill variety weapons. A few, however, have been exceptional. Here are some of my favorite magic weapons from the Wyrmfang Chronicles and elsewhere.

Whelm

This sentient warhammer was recovered by our party during our adventuring foray into White Plume mountain. It was a rather hilarious situation. One of our party members was actually a dark elf traveling in disguise as a normal elf. As presented in our version, Whelm would cause its wielder to hear thundering drums and feel the urge to attack. Since Turimbar the drow was disguised we couldn’t’ figure out what was going on until the very end when he betrayed us and revealed his true nature. My character, Gogun, was the one who wielded it. Being a dwarf, I was the only one Whelm would tolerate.

Wave

Also retrieved from White Plume Mountain, Wave is an intelligent trident. We didn’t find a whole lot of use for it at the time as I recall. We were already a bit weaponed up at the time and I don’t think Wave really cared for any of us. Nowadays, thanks to Jason Momoa as Aquaman, tridents are once again cool.

Sun Blade

The very concept of these blades is cool. It’s literally a D&D lightsaber. Just a hilt that creates a glowing blade of magic on command. And what nerd hasn’t always dreamed of being a jedi in D&D?

Hank’s Energy Bow

If you watched the D&D cartoon series, you’ve all seen Hank’s energy bow. Like the Sun Blade, this is part physical, part magical energy. It is just a bow staff with no string. When he drew it back like a normal bow, a string and arrow of energy would form. Releasing it sent the arrow of energy flying. It’s one weapon that I would love to replicate as a ranger/rogue character.

The Moonblades

These swords are as much a part of their wielders as the rest of their arm. And as each weapon passes to a new owner, that new owner adds a new ability to the weapon. It’s the ultimate family heirloom.

Blade Belt

One of our party currently has one of these. It’s a belt that, on command, can change into any slashing or piercing weapon that he chooses. It comes in handy from time to time, especially when dealing with foes that have damage reduction versus slashing or piercing. Just pick a weapon of the other type and keep hacking away.

The Ba’althrils

These magic weapons are the creations of our Wyrmfang Chronicles DM, Chris. These are nine melee weapons forged of a strange black metal. These weapons each have unique abilities and traits, but they all had downsides to them. They tended to make one lose one’s soul. Oh well. The weapons themselves were created at the same time as the Wyrmfang dagger and most of them will be required to destroy the dagger once and for all.

The Wyrmfang Dagger

The core object of our 20+ year campaign. The Wyrmfang is a dagger forged from the tooth of an evil, ancient, great wyrm. It is an artifact of great evil that we have sought long to destroy. The heroes travel west to find the forge of its creation so that it can be destroyed. For the time being, however, that quest is on hold while we switch to the world of Golarion and try to stop the return of the Sky Pharaoh.

D&December 2017 – W3D4 – Sword Coast

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The Sword Coast is an interesting area. Our adventures in the Wyrmfang Chronicles never ventured that far west. We mostly kept to the Dales, Cormyr, Evereska, and the areas between those lands. There were a few trips elsewhere, mostly to the far north or the far south. But never really to the west. 

The only exception to that general statement is a couple of adventures that occurred in Undermountain, beneath Waterdeep. Those were usually one-off adventures, however, and not associated with the primary Wyrmfang Chronicles plot line.

D&D Games

On the other hand, I have been a huge fan of the Dungeons & Dragons PC games, many of which focus on the Sword Coast regions. So in that regard, I feel like I know quite a bit about it. Among my favorite games of all time are the two Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights games. I have recently begun replaying the Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition. And just before that I re-ran the Neverwinter Nights 2 primary campaign.

These games have provided me with endless hours of adventuring throughout the Sword Coast and surrounding areas. Wandering from area to area, killing monsters, taking bandit scalps, charging headlong into battle with Minsc and Boo! That is enjoyment you just can’t beat anywhere.

“Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!”

Character Portrait – Khorzhad

Khorzhad

Above: Khorzhad – src: Fantasy Art on Flickr

Khorzhad is a half-elven ranger. Caught between two worlds, both of which hate him, he decided to hate them all back. He was a secondary character for a while, from a time when we were running both a main character and then a background character a few levels below the main characters.

He has nearly died on any number of occasions. His hatred of all things makes him reckless. Some think he’s trying to end his own existence through battle. Some hope he succeeds. When the companions found a home for a time, he took up a role as leader of the city’s scouts. They would explore the surrounding countryside watching for enemies and providing early warning of impending attacks. 

Eventually the time came for the companions to travel westward in goal of destroying the Wyrmfang and ba’althrils. They eventually found themselves in Evereska where the Wyrmfang and some of the ba’althrils were stolen. (DAMN YOU TURIMBAR!!). Khorzhad pursued and was once again knocked down to near death as Turimbar escaped into the Underdark. 

While Khorzhad initially was going to join those in pursuit into the Underdark, it was deemed more advisable that another go instead. Khorzhad currently waits in Evereska with those others guarding the ba’althrils they recovered. They await the return of the companions who ventured into the Underdark pursuing the Wyrmfang.

Character Portrait – Storinthalasin

Not Actual Storin

Note: Not the actual Storin mini. I don’t have any surviving images of Storin, so I’m substituting this random generic elf adventurer mini

When I first joined the Wyrmfang Chronicles, my character was Storinthalasin. Storin was a Silvanesti elven fighter/magic user from the world of Krynn. He was assisting his master with a magical experiment and it went horribly awry. He ended up in the misty realms of Ravenloft. There he wandered for several years before coming across the party of adventurers. Not having found his way back to his own world of Krynn, he threw in his lot with this band of heroes.

He didn’t have a particularly long life. The party came afoul of dark magics that separated their spirits from their physical forms. When he found his physical form, it had been possessed by one of the Forsaken named Gohrn, who was using it to rule over a band of orcs (I believe. It’s been a lot of years since these events), keeping his physical form hidden from these elf haters. 

While he fought valiantly to try and regain his form, it was a battle he eventually lost. He did, however, have the satisfaction of denying his body to the Forsaken, as his form was revealed during the battle and the orcs ripped it apart. His soul was last seen entering a new domain of Ravenloft being formed about the priestess Selena.

Character Portrait – Qen

Qen - Mini by Chris Fry
Qen
Qen – Source: HeroLab

The mini above is Qen. Painted and assembled by Chris Fry. Thanks Chris!

I’ll start with my current character because he’s the freshest in my memory. A year or two ago, we decided to move our ongoing campaign from Faerun to Golarion. The current arc is based in the deserts of Osirion, running through the Mummy’s Mask and related modules. 

Qen is a Suli cleric of Ra, the old god of law and justice. He’s descended from the djinn mistress of an ancient pharaoh of Osirion. Which one exactly his mother has declined to share with him. Qen rather believes the true identity has long been lost to passage of time.

His ancestors have always been loyal and faithful to the old gods, worshiping as they may in secret and dismissing the current pantheons as pretenders and usurpers. Once Qen completed his training, after many days of meditation in the desert, he came to the belief that it was time to restore the faith of the lost gods.

Leaving behind his mother and sisters in Sothis, he followed the guidance of Ra. Soon he found himself in the city of Wati, at the crook of the Asp and Sphinx rivers. There he began teaching among the poor and destitute of that ancient city. While his upbringing among the merchant classes of Sothis would be termed middle class, he holds no wealth himself.

In Wati, he quickly learned to despise those of the wealthy classes. He saw them abandoning their moral obligations to aid those in need in favor of their own comfortable lifestyles and protections. He began to lay plans for the eventual overthrow of that city’s corrupt government, beginning with bringing organization to the street gangs of the docks district.

While he gathered some followers to the true faith, there came a day which changed his path. It was announced that the pretender pharaoh was opening the walls ancient burial grounds of the Necropolis to adventurers. Seeing an opportunity to possibly find ancient relics of the true gods, Qen joined himself to a band of adventurers and went with them into the Necropolis. During those forays into the Necropolis, the band found a mask that held a part of the soul of an ancient ruler called the Sky Pharaoh. Thus began the adventures that have brought him to where he is now. 

From Wati, the adventurers were led to Tephu. There they spent many a day wandering and studying within the ancient libraries of that city. And from there, they set out for Ipec and the deserts beyond. The party is pursued by a band of cultists seeking to restore the Sky Pharaoh to life and rule. Currently, the band is wandering the sands of the Parched Dunes. They seek the secrets needed to lay the spirit of the Sky Pharaoh to rest once and for all. 

Qen firmly follows the path of Ra, being a lawful neutral cleric that epitomizes everything the true faith of Ra stands for, especially the rule of justice and order. While he accepts the flaws of his companions, he has no compunction about turning one of them over to the proper authorities should their actions warrant arrest. 

Everywhere he has gone, Qen has left behind a few souls brought to true enlightenment. Qen seeks not gain for himself. Much of his earned treasure has gone to building up the true faith and bringing justice to all. He looks forward to the day when the pharaoh of Osirion is brought back to the true gods. Failing that, he has no problem with replacing the pharaoh with a true believer.